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Alice expected more wolves in the area so the sudden howl wasn’t a surprise, but the feeling that ran through her was. Whereas the black and silver wolves filled her with thought, the sudden howl drove a shiver down her spine. The muscles in her legs tensed as she heard it. She waited to see how the other wolves reacted before making a decision. When the wolves growled low in their throats she felt the first spikes of fear. Maybe she had spent enough time in the forest for one day. Alice wasn’t sure how she was going to get around them, but standing she decided to try.
“Who is that?” The voice was clear. It sounded as though it came from behind her. Immediately she spun to see if someone had snuck up on her. Of course no one had, or the wolves would have growled long before that. Even though she had just met the pair, she felt as though she was close to them, especially the black one. Before she could find the origins of the voice, the black wolf gets closer to her. Both howl back at the others. The air around them had changed from light hearted curiosity to cold apprehension.
“Watch out!” The shout startled her, her eyes sprang open as jumped to her feet and took a few steps back. Alice’s eyes scanned the treeline, landing on the raised haunches of strange wolves. In a blink of an eyes one had lunged from the bushes and spun the black wolf to the ground. Letting out a surprised yelp, Alice backed away farther watching the snapping jaws of the pair. She prayed for the safety of the wolf, clearly standing his ground to protect her. The silver stood with his own haunches raised, his black lips pulled away from his razor sharp teeth. Everything in her body told her bolt passed them. It was stupid for her to wander into the forest without a weapon. Adrenaline floods her veins as she watches, waiting for an opening to run passed the fighting wolves.
A howl brought them out of their reverie, Changkhyun turning his head to look towards the sound. Minhyuk growled lightly at being interrupted, but realized this wasn't any of their pack members. No one was supposed to be home this early, Shownu having just left yesterday and the others still out of state doing work. Changkhyun soon realized this and turned to Minhyuk.
[i Who is that]? Asked Changkhyun. Minhyuk shrugged before noticing the rainfall as he looked up. Another howl resounded through the surrounding woods and it got Changkhyun and Minhyuk to move, Changkhyun standing up and Minhyuk moving to stand near Alice. Growls resounded through the both of them, the both of them staying on guard as they both howled, answering the call and marking their territory.
[i Watch out]! Shouted Minhyuk as a wolf came out of the woods and tackled Changkhyun. Changkhyun snarled as he fought off the wolf, keeping an eye on the pulse in his mind. He didn't want anything to happen to the human, so he would fight them off. Minhyuk was forced to join the fight as more wolves came into view and attacked him, forcing him to keep his attention divided, making sure they wouldn't go after Alice.
As she sits and listens to the forest around her a soft breeze sturrs the hair around her ears causing her to itch slightly. Tilting her head to the side, she listens to the forest breath with life. Soft steps alert her to movement. Scanning her surrounds her eyes land on a pair of wolves, one silver and the other black. Alice’s eyes widen in a combination of surprise and awe. The black one sitting while the silver remained standing. With her heart hammering against her ribs she watches them both, the black wolf yawning. The black wolf’s broad chest rose and fell with every breath, his ears pointed forward. Gazing at him gave Alice a sense of knowing. Even though she knew she should be terrified of the wolves, she couldn’t bring herself to be afraid. Looking at the black wolf she felt like she was looking at a friend. Someone she had known for a long time. The overcast clouds began to spit rain lightly, dampening her hair and clothes to her skin.
Changkhyun and Minhyuk were in the middle of their run when they came upon a [i very] human scent. It was Minhyuk who picked up on it first, his ears perking up as he stopped. Changkhyun stopped, turning to Minhyuk when Minhyuk yelled for him to wait.
[i I smelled a human], said Minhyuk when Changkhyun tilted his head to the side. [i They aren't exactly rare here], said Changkhyun as he snorts. [i It maybe the neighbors, let's scare them]! Said Minhyuk. Changkhyun snorts before nodding, letting Minhyuk lead the way.
[i Here human, human, human], said Minhyuk as he went towards the scent. He was projecting his own thoughts, something that only worked on what thoughts he let loose. Something that had evolved over time. Changkhyun could only snicker in his thoughts as he followed after Minhyuk.
It didn't take long for them to come upon the human, Changkhyun recognizing her immediately. It was the new student, Alice he remembered her saying. Minhyuk watched the human with a tilt of his head, getting a read on her own thoughts as Changkhyun sat down, yawning.
The soaked ground is soft under her tennis shoes. As she jogs sweat breaks out across her skin and her headphone cord slaps against her chest and cheek. The air is perfectly cool, just enough for a sweater if she wasn't jogging. Rain drips from leaves landing on vibrant blades of grass. Ferns and low tangles of brush sparkle with moisture. The sky is still heavily overcast, promising more rain, but holding off for now. Fresh cool air fills Alice's lungs one breath at a time. She picks a clear path that winds away from her new home and down the safer side of the cliff. She's sure if she keeps on this trail she'll find the beach eventually. The sand and sea spray would feel good against her skin, even though their cold sticky nature would be foregin to her. Alice assumed the beach sand would be different because of the fact that it's always wet. In California the sand farthest from the water was as dry as the sun. When she dipped her feet or hands into it the particles didn't stick to her skin, just fell between her toes or fingers. The dry sand in California easily rubbed off. Maine beach sand would be the complete opposite; annoyingly so. Nevertheless she still wanted to be near it. Wanted to feel its healing properties first hand.
Slowing, she reaches the peak of her endurance. With chest heaving and a sharp knife stab in her side, she uses the back of her hand to wipe sweat from her forehead. She takes a moment to check her surroundings. Everything is still in the afternoon light. Tugging one headphone free of her ear, she listens to the thicket russling and birds chirping. Various evening peepers call to each other, either looking for a mate or claiming territory. Taken by the beauty around her, she pauses her music and picks a downed hemlock to sit on. The trunk is green with moss and spotted by a few white species of mushrooms. Crossing one leg over the other, she listens and breathes deep tasting pollution-free air for the first time.
Once they got home Changkhyun went to work on homework while Minhyuk raided the fridge and made some snacks, stopping by the coffee table and putting a plate in front of Changkhyun who accepted it with a small thank you. Minhyuk sat on the couch and watched some TV, keeping the volume low for background noise while Changkhyun worked on homework.
"You know," Minhyuk said suddenly. "Hm?" Asked Changkhyun. "I think after this I wanna go for a run, get a feel of the old territory again," said Minhyuk. "How long has it been since you were last here?" Asked Changkhyun as he looked back at Minhyuk. "A few months at least," said Minhyuk. "Been busy doing out of state work with your betas," he said, shrugging. Changkhyun hummed in response as he turned back to finish his homework.
"How are they anyway?" He asked after a few minutes. "Fine, fine," said Minhyuk. "Should be returning soon though, I know you miss them," he said with a chuckle, earning a slap on the leg from Changkhyun as he shook his head in amusement. "How will you ever survive without Hyungwon then?" He asked. "I'll manage," said Minhyuk as he shrugged. "Don't come to me begging to leave then, I'm by myself until Shownu comes back," said Changkhyun. Minhyuk hummed in response.
After finishing homework Changkhyun got up and went to wash the dishes from their snack and went to get ready for a run with Minhyuk following him around like an excited puppy. "If I didn't know any better I'd think you're the youngest in the pack," Changkhyun said with a snicker. Minhyuk slapped him over the head. "I'm not [i always] like this," he said with a pout, earning chuckles from Changkhyun before they headed out the backdoor to stand on the back deck.
"Well here goes," said Changkhyun. Minhyuk nodded before they leaped over the guardrail on the deck and changing in midair, landing on four feet in wolf form. They both shake out their fur before Changkhyun ran off, leading the way with Minhyuk's silver colored wolf running beside him, keeping pace.
At home, Alice danced around the kitchen. A brightly colored rubber band held her short back away from her face as she dipped her hands into soapy dish water. Singing along to every word of the song, she tries to make the mundane task of washing dishes a little more interesting. James was still at the office, claiming that he had a mountain of paperwork and new cases to study before he could come home. For the first time in her life, Alice found herself home alone. As she pushed a plate into the warm water she could hear her mother’s voice scolding her father. A thin smile pulls at her lips as an ache settles in her chest. She missed the nights when her parents would cook together, laughing as James burnt himself. She missed the nights when James would rush home from work just to watch NCIS with them. How the popcorn smelled when the bowl was laid in her lap, she small figure sandwiched between them. After some consideration, Alice guessed that she missed the good times. The times when her parents still loved each other and didn’t fight constantly. Part of her hated James for ripping their family apart, but not all of it was his fault. Both Sharon and James shared the blame; Sharon for not being able to forgive him and James for making the mistake in the first place.
Laying the plate down on a drying rack, she leans against the countertop for a moment. The black marble sparkling in the kitchen lights. Did she regret her decision? Had she made a terrible mistake? Shoving those thoughts away, she forced a smile back on her face and continued washing the dishes. The task was quickly finished before she moved into the living room to check on the cyclone that is her father. The living room was only in need of being picked up before it was presentable. Things are going to be different. She was going to be someone here. Next she found herself sitting on the big white couch, flipping through channels looking for anything of interest. Alice flipped through her snaps, facebook messages, and texts. These only confirmed how little she meant to her friends in Cali.
Fighting boredom with every fiber of her being she stood suddenly and drifted her room. There she changed into a pair of black leggings and an old t-shirt. She pulled her new running shoes from their place in her closet. The decision to start track training now was a quick one, one that held a lot of promise. Grabbing her phone and headphones, she locked the house on her way out.
Minhyuk was waiting for Changkhyun, leaning against the front of the jeep when Changkhyun walked over after school let out. "Man your school days take hours," he said with a snort. "Welcome back," Changkhyun said with a grin, fist bumping with Minhyuk.
"Man, I need to act like a high schooler again?" Whined Minhyuk, causing Changkhyun to laugh. "Hey, you set yourself up for this one," he said, moving to throw his bag into the trunk of the jeep before closing the door and climbing into the driver's seat. Minhyuk got into the passenger seat and closed the door, huffing as he looked out the window to observe the students getting to their cars.
"Thanks for getting me out of detention by the way," said Changkhyun as he looked through the group chat. "How'd you know it was me?!" Exclaimed Minhyuk. "What other person do I know that can manipulate people's thoughts to get us out of situations?" Asked Changkhyun.
There was laughter coming from the Honda next to them, and Changkhyun turned to it. "Oh, the new girl," he said. "She seems... Rather interested in you," said Minhyuk as he tilted his head slightly. "Hm," said Changkhyun. "You know how dangerous that can get," he said. Minhyuk flinched. "Yeah, of course," he mumbled, his attention suddenly focused on a spot on the ceiling of the jeep.
"Hey, that wasn't your fault alright?" Asked Changkhyun as he put his phone on the dock before turning and putting a hand on Minhyuk's shoulder. "I know," said Minhyuk as he sighed a bit. Changkhyun took a minute to fiddle with his keys before starting the jeep and driving out of the parking spot after the person in front of him backed out of their parking spot. He waited until traffic was clear before moving into oncoming traffic and headed home.
"So we got new neighbors huh?" Asked Minhyuk. "Yeah," said Changkhyun. "That limits our nightly runs a bit then," Minhyuk said with a pout, causing Changkhyun to chuckle some. "No worries," he said. "We just have to be careful to not be seen," he said. "I like you," said Minhyuk. "Why didn't Shownu make you alpha sooner?" He asked, causing Changkhyun to laugh again.
Alice stood dumbfounded after Changkhyun’s abrupt departure. She watches his figure disappear into the boy’s bathroom. Perhaps it was something he ate? At least she hoped it was and not her. Alice floats through the rest of the day. Changkhyun shared one other class with her, and thankfully it was at the end of the day. She avoided looking at him as though his features would turn her to stone. Maybe he was just shy and didn’t know what to say. She questioned the universe why silently as her pen scratched lazy loops in the margins of her syllabus. Like all of her other classes, this one was spent going over what they would learning and doing for the trimester. The teacher was a thin woman with greying, also thin, hair. Something told Alice that the white blonde color was her natural color. Thick wired glasses sat high on the woman’s beak nose and crow’s feet stamped her eyes. Her smile was wide and welcoming, promising a great trimester. Of course the happiest woman alive would teach hardest subject. Alice sighed into her bangs and started another string of loops. This times sketching an eye in one, adding an eyebrow, and then a few freckles matching her own.
The ringing of a bell, brings Alice back to reality. The day was finally over. Track would start tomorrow, so there was that. All she had to do was bring in a physical and she could start running and being apart of the team. Gathering her things in a haze, she barely notices Changkhyun. So far she hadn’t made any friends or really met anyone, but it was only the first day. A rebranding doesn’t happen overnight; at least that’s what she repeated to herself. Her fifteen minutes of fame as the new girl would only last so long, she had to make those fifteen minutes count. Her Honda made it’s sweet dinging sounds as she opened the car door and tossed her bag into the passenger seat. Finally her phone buzzes with the sound of life for the first time in hours. One of the girls she used to hang around with snapped her a picture of her dog. The poor thing was wearing tutu, and some sort of sparkly color. The black and white bulldog couldn’t have looked less pleased even if it tried. The sight sent Alice into a fit of hysterical laughter.
At first he wasn't aware of someone walking beside him til he heard a voice. "Ah, yeah," he said, scratching the back of his head. "Don't worry though, teacher's always been a douche bag from what all the people that had him last year said," he said. "No worries though, it's only the first day of school, how much worse could it get?" He asked.
"Changkhyun, though you probably know that now," he said, offering a friendly smile. He wasn't used to having people approach him like she did. He [i was] known for being a party goer but his circle of friends only consisted of Jake and Cole, two of the most popular kids in the school. Those two didn't judge him for being different, though they didn't suspect him living a double life.
He stopped rather suddenly, feeling another pulse go through his mind, blinking in surprise. "Oh," he said suddenly. "I have to go," he said, turning and running the other direction and heading towards the bathrooms.
Once in the bathroom he locked himself in a stall, leaning against the wall as he rubbed his face with his hands. "What the hell?" He asked, reaching for his bag and finding his phone. He checked it, seeing a message from Shownu.
[i Continue the day like normal, I'll send Minhyuk back to see how things are] was the message he had been sent. "Oh good, send the mind reader," he mumbled as he left the stall after grabbing his bag. He splashed his face with water from the sink before leaving the bathroom, more calm now as he headed to his next class.
Alice watched as the strange boy from class rushed to leave. With the same sense of urgency she scooped her things into her arms and followed. The teacher had said his name was Changkhyun. His name was foreign on her lips and she as she jogged lightly to catch up with him, she quickly decided that she didn’t mind the feeling. Reaching his side, she looked up to him. Alice’s thin boyish frame made her at least two inches smaller than him in every direction. Unfortunately her mother had not blessed her with any short of chest. In an attempt to make her feel better, her parents always praised her for having the perfect model’s body, long and thin.
“That was utter bullshit…” She started, hoping to get his attention with her soft melodic voice. Another change she had hoped to make when moving from Oakland to Addison. Before her voice was always called flat, a step away from being nasally. Now she thought carefully about how she sounded, trying to remain pleasant in a singsong way. As she eagerly awaited his response, she focused on where they were going, quietly committing room numbers to memory.
“I’m Alice, by the way. Alice Parker.” She said, once again looking up into his face, searching for any emotion that would encourage or discourage her boldness.
Changkhyun was only half listening to the teacher as he found himself twirling a pen in his hand. He kept his gaze at the front of the room but he found himself glancing around, spotting a new face. He tilted his head slightly, feeling a sudden pulse in his mind. He blinked before looking quickly at the blackboard when asked a question.
"Ah..." He said, caught off guard. "Detention Changkhyun," said the teacher. "God damn it," Changkhyun said under his breath as he sighed. The students around him started to whisper, saying how weird it was for one of the top students in the school to suddenly get detention. Class continued on as normal as Changkhyun crossed his arms, now paying attention to the class.
Changkhyun let out a sigh as class was dismissed, getting up and grabbing his things before leaving the room in a hurry. This pulse thing would have to wait it seemed, as he texted Shownu about it. He was curious as to what this was. Maybe it had to do with his pure blood power. He would have to wait until Shownu returned from his business trip to be sure.
Alice stacks her books in a neat pile on the corner of her desk. With nervous energy she twists her ballpoint pen around in her hands. She could feel the curious stares of the students around her. A tall girl with hair the color of a damp tree trunk was leaning against another student’s desk. The girl’s voice floated over the rest of the chatter that filled the room. After some consideration, she figured it would be safer to remain in her seat rather than try to introduce herself to anyone. The last thing she wanted was to come off as desperate. The last students jog through the door followed by a man with a receding hairline. In his hands he carried a tote bag that was the same color of the sky. Clearly he was the teacher, his dark skin shining with sweat as though he had run up the stairs. A small smile pulls at Alice’s lips as she imagines the portly science teacher tripping over his own feet to make it on time. As the man starts to prattle on about the syllabus and the various projects of the upcoming semester, Alice scans the room again.
Alice’s hazel eyes sparkle like the sun crawling through the forest. She settles on a boy with raven black hair and pale skin. Without staring too long, she makes note of all of his prominent features: almost slanted eyes, angular nose, thin upper lip and fuller lower. If she didn’t know any better she would say the boy was the male version of herself. As she loosely returns her attention to the front of the room, she notices a burning desire catch inside of her. The desire urging her to talk to the strange boy before anyone else. It was if her instincts were pointing to her to the most popular person in school. Though she doubted that it was true. The urge was probably some teenaged hormonal response to his looks. Regardless, she would have to wait until after class to talk to him.
Changkhyun was aware of a new presence as he arrived at school a bit behind the others due to being stuck in traffic. He pulled into his parking spot and turning off the jeep, next to a new-ish looking Honda. He glanced at it, tilting his head to the side slightly before grabbing his things and getting out, closing the door and locking up the jeep before heading into the school.
He immediately spotted his best friend and captain of the football team Jake, who looked no worse for wear than he did. "Hey Jake," he called, catching Jake's attention. "Yo puppy," Jake said with a grin. "Some mess of a party last night eh? Glad to see you made it back home safe," he said. "Yeah," Changkhyun said, scratching the back of his head.
"Hey did you hear, we're getting a new student," said Jake as they headed to where their friend Cole was waiting. "Really now?" Asked Changkhyun. "Yeah, Samantha spotted her leaving the office as she went to get the list of the people signing up for the track team," said Jake. "Hm," said Changkhyun.
"No sports this year?" Asked Jake as they reached where their friend Cole was. "No," said Changkhyun. "I see no reason to be in any this year, I'm going to be rather busy with things," he said, shrugging. "Family trips and what not," he said, shrugging.
"Ah, your adopted father wanted more family trips? Man how can he afford these things?" Asked Cole. "Easy, he owns a lot of stock share," said Changkhyun as he chuckled some.
It was rather hard, living a double life. But things were only going to go on like this for another year, since he was a Junior in high school. Next year was finally graduation and he hoped that it went by with no issues.
He got a text from Shownu, quickly looking down at his phone to see what it was about.
[i Apparently we got new neighbors. Keep your runs to a smaller perimeter. The house by the cliff was bought and they moved in just before the weekend] was the text he had been sent. "Well then," he said. "We finally got new neighbors," he said. "Oh, cool," said Jake. "Surprised anyone bought the house since that wolf pack has been occupying the area," he said. "[i I'm] surprised you haven't moved yet," said Cole. Changkhyun could only chuckle as he scratched the back of his head.
"Well, I'll see you guys around then," he said as the bell rang for the first class. "See you," said Jake and Cole as everyone separated to go to their first classes.
The divorce was a nasty one starting with Sharon Parker standing on the porch screaming at her husband James. Tousled black hair stood up in every direction on his head as he retreated to his mercedes benz. Sharon, with fists at her side, finally said that four word phrase that would forever change her family’s life. Next came the equally disgusting custody battle for Alice. Sharon and James fought with each other bitterly, the only thing they could agree on was they way they raised their daughter. James continued to advance in his career, going from a local judge to state in a few short years, prompting his move from Oakland, California to small town Addison, Maine. James had saved enough to buy a house on the coast overlooking the ocean he loved. A job offering as a local judge turned out to be the perfect, paid, hobby. Even though the move was a demotion rather than a promotion, he felt it necessary to get closer to Alice. The move also made joint custody impossible. Sharon, having Alice every weekend and every other holiday, found herself backed in a corner. James was leaving and planned to take Alice with him. Being apart of the legal system also gave him the connections he needed to get full legal custody of Alice, but none of that would be necessary. In the months leading to the big move three important things happened: Alice turned seventeen, got her driver’s license, and decided to change her life. Life offered Alice an opportunity she couldn’t afford to pass on. Maine was a new and alien planet. It had plants she’d never seen before, clouds, and a new coastline with new beaches. An ocean she’d never been in. Not only did Maine sound like an exciting adventure, it sounded like a place where she could finally be who she wanted. She no longer had to be the kind and humble girl her parents raised her to be. Alice decided, faster than her mother would like, that she was going with her father. James was delighted to hear his little girl was going home with him. Sharon was crushed and had no choice, but to watch Alice pack her things while excitedly detailing her new room. She threw anything old out, or too childish. The final month flew by with her parents arguing and her determination to rebrand herself driving her forward in a frenzy. James gave Alice anything she wanted including, but not limited to, the latest smartphone, a entire new wardrobe, and a new car of which they would pull behind the Uhaul. Sharon, being a high school counselor, couldn’t keep up. Sadly, Sharon waved to her daughter and ex-husband on the very porch that changed their entire lives.
Addison, Maine proved to be everything Alice expected. Complete with the smell of salt from the ocean that quickly soaked into everything they owned. Thankfully they arrived a few days before school started so she had time to unpack. Light blue walls now surrounded her with with black carpeting under her feet. She brought her white dresser and writing desk with her, other than that everything else was abandoned. Unlike her old room, this one had a flat screen T.V mounted on the wall with a shelf holding a DVD player. The setup was simple enough, just how she wanted it. Alice’s new life would be built carefully on the idea that even though her father had money, she refused to be spoiled. A new white bookshelf leaned against the wall next to her bed, which was opposite the massive window. She considered this view of the bluffs overlooking the coast to be the best in the house. The house itself not being modest by any means. With three floors in total it was a beautiful monument topping the cliff that her father now owned. The surrounding acres being blanketed by Maine’s forest.
Alice slowly opened her eyes to her screaming alarm clock. Finally the day had arrived: the first day of school. Swinging her legs over the side of her bed, more excited than tired, she made her way into her bathroom. There she washed her face and applied a light layer of makeup. Her black short hair was straightened to the side and the shorter ends at the nape of her neck were spiked up slightly with her fingers. She changed from her pjs to a pair of skinny jeans and a graphic t-shirt. Both from a label. Alice’s heart hammered against her chest as she made her way downstairs to grab her bag, jacket, and keys. Already she had signed up for the track team and planned to join student council, both of which she hadn’t been apart of in California. The sudden change in extracurricular activities was a way for her to make friends and join the athletic crowd. In Cali, and everywhere else it seemed, all the popular people were involved in at least one sport. Getting in her older Honda, she starts the rainy and magical drive to the high school. Here she planned on being popular, the complete opposite of who she used to be. In Cali, she was a shy, bookish, girl who had a small group of friends. That group of friends would meet up after school to go to the beach or a local hideaway for teenagers. Most of them wore classic rock tees, smoked cigarettes, and talked about what they wanted to do with their lives. More than half of them one failing grade away from dropping out. Alice, fortunately, wasn’t like them. She clung to their presence because they weren’t mean to her. She knew they invited her along on their hangout sessions because otherwise she wouldn’t do anything, but read. It was a sympathetic friendship she had and moving across the country away from them was easy.
Soon Alice found herself surrounded by cars clearly bought for teenagers. Rust decorated their bodies and a few windshields were cracked. One dark blue truck in particular had a silver spatula shoved between the door cover and the actual window. Probably holding the window up. Her car was easily one of the newest ones there. The pavement which everyone was parked on was divided by long cracks and in need of serious repair. The school itself looked to be an old asylum built with red brick, dozens of windows, and stone sidewalks. Overall the sheer mass of the building was intimidating and a little unnecessary. For a school that housed less than a thousand students it was too big. Walking, what she hoped looked confidently, up to the school she quickly decided that a lot of the rooms were probably used as storage, or were forgotten about. Immediately through the doors to her right was the glass office. There she could see the middle-aged, overweight, secretary clacking away at her keyboard. The woman had long red hair the color of dying leaves during the fall and short pug fingers. Her feet looked to be either swollen in her sandals or shoved. She wore a peach colored skirt that bulged at her hips and a low-cut blouse that showed her concerning cleavage, also peach but in a lighter shade. Inside she was instructed to sit and wait while the secretary gathered everything she would need after giving the woman some required information. Alice is handed a map, course schedule, and lose instructions to her classes. The woman had an air of indifference that hung around her like perfume. The woman either didn’t want to be here, or she wasn’t well liked among the students. Either way, Alice left the office with a heavy heart. Her hopeful demeanor easily crushed by the woman’s attitude. She manages to regain some of her excitement on the walk up to her first class.
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